Friendly Shooting: The tie-breaker, repairs and Loretta’s legacy

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Can Americans still have a sensible and friendly political discussion across the partisan divide? The answer is yes, and we intend to prove it. Julie roginsky, a democrat and Mike DuHaime, a Republican, are consultants who have worked on opposing teams throughout their careers but remained friends throughout. Here, they discuss the events of the week with Editorial Page Editor Tom Moran.

Q. To mark January 6, let’s talk about two polls cited this week by former President Jimmy Carter in an op-ed titled “I’m afraid for our democracy.” One revealed that 36% of Americans believe that “the traditional American way of life is disappearing so quickly that we may have to use force to save it.” Another found that 40% of Republicans believe violence against the government is sometimes justified. How scary is that for you?

Julie: Good year! I am extremely worried. The clock is approaching midnight, but our elected officials have so far failed to pass laws that protect our democracy from massive pressure. For too long we have been ruled by a minority party that has held the will of the majority hostage and used every means at its disposal to advance an agenda with which most Americans disagree. Our Supreme Court paved the way for this by ousting the Voting Rights Act.

Julie: Republican leaders not only refuse to condemn the perpetrators of the January 6 violence, but have in fact gone out of their way to weave a narrative about this attack on the seat of our democracy that flies in the face of reality. These same leaders are set to take control of both houses of Congress in 2024, as state legislatures have stripped voters of the right to vote both through a redistribution process and through the passing laws that make it virtually harder for Democrat-leaning voters to go to the polls.

Mike: More Republicans should speak out against what happened on January 6 and against Trump’s selfish lies about the election results, which serve no purpose other than to appease his bruised ego. Democracy is only sustained in the long run by election losers at all levels of government who concede these losses and transfer power peacefully. But much of the legislation Julie laments was not passed is also blocked by members of her own party.

Julie: You’re right, Mike. This legislation is being held hostage by every member of the Republican conference and a Democrat from West Virginia. Overall, 100% of Senate Republicans oppose the protection of democracy, compared to 2% of Senate Democrats.

Q. President Trump scheduled a press conference for the anniversary and then canceled it. What’s your best guess: why did he plan it in the first place? And why did he cancel? How will this problem play out in 2022 and 2024?

Julie: Trump planned it because he craves attention like the narcissist he is, and he canceled it because I suspect even he understands that being too closely aligned with the events of January 6 doesn’t is not optimal for its legal situation. Sadly, that question won’t play out in 2022 or even 2024, unless Trump himself is on the ballot (and even then, I’m not so sure it matters). Few voters have the luxury of worrying about this as these issues drive them to the polls. They are too busy worrying about the rising cost of basic necessities for their own families. This is what is so difficult about it. Democrats must continue voting reform while also communicating their work on economic issues more effectively. This is a very important order.

Mike: Julie’s right that voters are more focused on the future than the past, and more concerned about the cost of gas and milk than the status of the franchise bills in Washington. Yesterday, President Biden tried to get Donald Trump back into the public debate, which he says will help Democrats.

Q. State Supreme Court is asking former Justice John Wallace to “amplify” his reasons for siding with Democrats by redrawing the congressional map, after Wallace in the tiebreaker said that he had done it because the Republicans won last time. What do you think about this? Is there a real chance that the Court will demand a recovery?

Julie: I doubt the court will demand a resumption. He asked Justice Wallace to clarify his thinking, which will allow him another opportunity to provide a more solid explanation for his decision.

Mike: Justice Wallace’s reasoning is absurd and embarrassing to those who argued for his appointment. This shows little appreciation or knowledge of the fair process Attorney General John Farmer led 10 years ago. According to Wallace’s reasoning, there shouldn’t be an independent tiebreaker, but rather an alternation of partisan advantages every 10 years. So, the next decade, Republicans can adopt an overtly partisan card and win. In 2041, Democrats will be able to gerrymand their own card. A complete joke.

Q. A Superior Court judge ruled that New Jersey could not continue withholding grants to Holtec International for its Camden operation, a setback for critics of the tax incentive program that was targeted by bruises during public hearings in 2019. Considering that George Norcross got his tax credits all too after this scrutiny, can we conclude that these hearings were more smoke than fire?

Julie: Well, the – um – “independent investigation” of those tax credits a few years ago gave all of you in the press a lot to write about, which I guess was the gist.

Mike: I never thought that tax credits should be canceled once they were granted, from what I heard in the hearings.

Q. I spoke to Congresswoman Shavonda Sumter this week at the Perth Amboy site where thousands of slaves were brought into New Jersey. She has been pushing for years to establish a task force to consider reparations for the descendants of New Jersey slaves and has not been able to secure a single hearing. Why does this question scare politicians so much?

Julie: It’s all in the messaging. Supporters of a reparations task force (and I am one of them) need to better explain to the public what it means and what this task force hopes to accomplish.

Mike: Recognizing the most overwhelming elements in the history of our state is difficult for all of us who would rather focus on positive and proud times in our state. But this is not the complete picture. Recognition is one thing politically; repairs is another. There is more political support for recognition than for reparations.

Q. Finally, Senator Loretta Weinberg, the Liberal lioness and elderly woman in the Legislature, retires at 86 after 30 years in Trenton, still negotiating until the last minute on a bill to protect people. abortion rights. What will you remember about her?

Julie: Senator Weinberg’s 2018 legislation for eliminate non-disclosure agreements for toxic issues at work, one of the most important labor laws in decades and a model for similar efforts across the country, gave voice to those who had been forced to suffer in silence at the hands of employers who protect predators at the expense of survivors.

Julie: Senator Weinberg’s work has inspired women across the country to lobby for similar legislation in other states, but New Jersey law goes further – and New Jersey has led the way. One day, all of our workplaces will truly reflect the values ​​that business leaders and politicians claim to espouse. Those who speak out about unacceptable behavior will keep their jobs, while abusers will be held to account. Although it is still largely a dream today, Senator Weinberg paved the way for its realization. For this we all owe him a debt of gratitude.

Mike: Although I campaigned against Senator Weinberg in 2009 when she was running for lieutenant governor, I have long admired her willingness to fight. She’s a champion of what she believes in and isn’t afraid to put her political capital on the line for her cause.

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